Which teas you should be drinking: The health benefits of tea

Black, green and white teas each have unique health benefits. But which kind is best for you? Personalize your healthy tea habits with these easy tips.

By Dr. Joey Shulman

Black and green tea
Did you know that after water, tea is the most highly consumed beverage in the world? In fact, tea has been touted as a superfood for nearly 5000 years. From protecting against heart disease, promoting weight loss, boosting immune system function plus anti-cancer effects, the heath effects of a humble cup of tea are well documented.

Whether you prefer your tea hot or cold, black, green, white or herbal – each type of tea contains a unique blend making it the perfect compliment to any diet.

One plant - three teas
Black tea, green tea and white tea are all made from the same plant (the Camellia sinensis plant), although they undergo different processing. All three types of tea contain significant amounts of catechins, a type of disease-fighting flavonoid and antioxidant that help to fight off cellular damage in the body. As a general rule, the longer you steep the tea, the more flavonoids you'll get in your brew.

The difference between black and green teas
Black tea is the most processed of all the teas and has undergone an intense crushing and fermentation process. Green tea is a lightly processed tea that is not fermented at all. The leaf is either baked, roasted, sun dried or steamed after harvesting to stop the fermentation process. When the leaves are sufficiently dried, they are rolled into a variety of shapes.

Green tea for weight loss
In terms of weight loss, green tea contains high concentrations of catechin polyphenols. These compounds work in the body with other chemicals to heighten levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis (a state created in the body by burning fat as fuel). On average, you should try to consume a minimum of 3 cups of green tea per day for weight loss effects. Green tea has also been shown to be preventative against cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol.

Page 1 of 2: Read the benefits of white tea on page 2


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